Today is my "day-off" and am pleased with myself with the things I was able to do. And still feel like doing.

In the morning, I cooked pancakes and a few pieces of ham for a very late breakfast.

I fetched five of Sophia's friends from their school in Kalookan and brought them back to the house so they could work on their science investigatory project. On the way home I left them in the bus while I went to the Bonifacio Market in Monumento to pick up a few ingredients -- nothing much, just an assortment of vegetables, chicharon, miki and chicken balls.

I got down to work in the kitchen as soon as I arrived.  I was planning on chopsuey and pancit miki-bihon, but realized too late that I should have bought more vegetables and chicharon. As it turned out, chopsuey was scrapped and all of the veggies went to the noodle dish. It turned out dry, too. But we ate it anyway because I was in a hurry to go to Elmo's school to fetch him from violin practice, try and catch his class adviser, and also conduct a preliminary interview with his violin teacher whom I am writing about for MST Sunday.

I made it and I was even early!  I talked to the school official, wrote my questions during Elmo's lessons and then talked about the article with my subject. Elmo had gone ahead to a party for his cousin's best friend, and  I left him there. He promised he would be home by four -- it was time to begin commuting lessons for him and besides it's only a tricycle ride away.

When I got home, Sophie and her friends were not yet back from the mall where they scouted for materials for their project. I knew that the meeting wasn't all about the project, either -- i should know, I was in high school not too long ago. Bea had gone to school and to meet some friends afterwards. She was spending the night at a friend's house practicing for a benefit gig on December 9 (it's at Conspiracy along Visayas Avenue. Come watch! Her friend is asking me to read my poems too. I said no thanks. I would rather watch my kids perform.)

Josh for his part had an afternoon class, a one-on-one with his teacher in contrabass (upright). he had shifted to a different major this semester and he learned there were just about five of them majoring in that instrument for the entire conservatory.  He was going out with his lady friend later, as well.

Glad to be alone, I straightened up the house and fixed the dry noodles so that its texture was as great as its taste. I ordered ten pieces of fabulous turon from the neighbor. The high schoolers arrived, i set the table, I told them to eat when they got hungry, and I retreated to my room to work on tomorrow's page 5.

I forgot to say I had lost my cool earlier in the day with the two older kids -- and for a host of reasons not entirely the kids' own doing.

In the sanctuary of my room, I edited one column, wrote my own column (I missed last Wednesday!) and wrote the editorial as well.

At five pm, I was done. Fortunately, I did not have to bring the groupmates back to school. Sophie had enlisted her father to bring them back using his car. They said they met a bit of traffic, but it was ok.

Now I have just started working on a paper due the end of the year for a course I took last summer. I am excited to work on it -- it was the "passion piece" I referred to in the blog entry before this one. I had wanted to expand the topic to an Asian setting, but to do that would mean I had to go through two decades of news stories published in several countries. Alas, not all of the archives are online.

I am also finalizing the questions for my feature interview. That, plus major research for the topic I did decide to pursue for my MP.

But before all that I decided to go to a familiar You Tube video -- Musica de relajacion. For a minute I panicked after hearing no sound from my computer after I had turned the volume to its maximum.  Took me a while to figure out that the headset was still plugged into the netbook.

I sat up straight, sat Indian style on my mattress, closed my eyes and took deep breaths. The music was indeed relaxing! here is the eight-hour musica de relajacion Just a guitar and something that sounded like a flute. There were birds chirping every now and then. Nearly perfect -- and since I opened a jar of balm a friend had given me, my room smells like a spa!

Elmo's laughter shattered all this. "What are you doing?" he asked me in Tagalog.

"Meditating! Para hindi ako naiinis kahit makukulit ang mga bata!"

He laughed. What is that sound, he asked? A bird? Why, there's even a monkey!

Elmo doesn't just laugh. He squeaks.  And he does so for a prolonged period of time.  He also slaps his thighs and holds his belly as though it's aching already.

I tried to admonish him and tell him to leave me be. Walang basagan ng trip. Before long, though, I couldn't help it. I laughed with him.

And wouldn't you know it, I remembered how good it feels to laugh. So, yeah, I think I'm done and fine and ready again,.